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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Town of Hounsfield - Claims Auditing (2019M-215)

Released: January 24, 2020 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether claims were adequately documented, for appropriate purposes and properly audited and approved prior to payment.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not audit claims before approving payments.
  • Of 166 claim vouchers reviewed, totaling $783,400, the Supervisor paid $124,000 in claims (16 percent) that were either not presented to the Board or improperly paid prior to Board approval.
  • Eleven claims totaling $10,500 lacked adequate supporting documentation and seven claims for $4,100 were paid twice.
  • The Board did not ensure that procurements of commodities, goods and services totaling $172,000 complied with bidding requirements and/or the Town’s procurement policy.

Key Recommendations

  • Perform a thorough and deliberate audit of claims and ensure each claim is adequately supported before approving it for payment.
  • Update the resolution authorizing advance payment of claims so that only claims allowed by law are paid prior to Board audit.
  • Ensure that Town personnel involved in the procurement process are aware of, and comply with, competitive bidding statutes and the Town’s procurement policy.

Town officials agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to take corrective action.

Background

The Town of Hounsfield (Town) is located in Jefferson County. The Town is governed by a five-member Board composed of four Board members and an elected Town Supervisor (Supervisor). The Supervisor serves as the Town’s chief executive officer and chief fiscal officer. The Board is responsible for the general management and control of financial operations, including auditing and approving claims for payment.

Quick Facts
Population3,470
2018 Budgeted Appropriations$2.8 million
Number of Claims in Audit Period940
Amount of Claims in Audit Period$2.8 million

Audit Period

January 1, 2018 – May 31, 2019


Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.ny.gov
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236